Nature July 26, 2018
You’ll Want To Hightail It Out Of This Haunted Utah Canyon Before Dark
The Beehive State is full of ghost stories. From the
Purple Lady at the Rio Grande to the scary ghosts said to inhabit the Ben Lomond Suites hotel in Ogden, there’s no shortage of hair-raising tales and spine-chilling legends. Here’s a popular canyon in Utah that’s said to be haunted by numerous spirits… and you might want to get out of there before darkness descends.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
If you believe in the presence of other-worldly spirits, then there's no reason to think that they'd stick to creepy, abandoned buildings and old houses. In fact, many people say that American Fork Canyon is full of unexplained phenomena.
Timpanogos Cave is said to be haunted by the ancient spirits of two young lovers.
The legend goes that a Native American warrior fell in love with a beautiful princess. The warrior, Red Cloud, told Princess Utahna that he was really a god who could save their people from a terrible drought if she married him. She agreed but later found that she'd been tricked. She climbed up Mount Timpanogos and jumped from a cliff, killing herself. Devastated, Red Cloud placed her body in the cave, and this heart-shaped stalactite grew at that spot. The two are said to haunt the cave today.
Ancient spirits aren't the only ones inside Timpanogos Cave.
Park employees and visitors to the cave have reported some spine-chilling phenomena. After visitors are gone for the day, employees often dare each other to go inside the cave, turn their flashlights off, and wait for 10 full minutes. Most don't make it that long and emerge to report that they felt hands brushing their faces, footsteps approaching, and voices whispering. One employee locked the door to the cave one night, only to hear someone pounding on it from the inside. Thinking she'd locked in a co-worker, she opened it, to find that no one was there. Visitors on the cave tour also report seeing orbs and feeling hot breath on the back of their necks... when no one is behind them.
The trail up to Timpanogos Cave is also supposedly haunted.
Park rangers on their way up the trail early in the morning report hearing laughter and whispers all around them. One employee heard the sounds of thundering footsteps coming down toward him from the switchbacks above, but no one was there. Both visitors and employees report feeling strange cold spots in various spots along the trail, even on days when the temperature is over 90 degrees.
Hikers on other trails in the canyon report strange run-ins with ghosts.
Reports include seeing a little boy of around four years old who appears lost on the trail. As hikers approach to help him, he runs back up the trail and disappears. Another common story is that of a man who makes himself known by stomping through the brush off-trail. He emerges from the thick underbrush onto the trail in front of hikers, glaring at them before vanishing right before their eyes.
Beware of ghostly hitchhikers.
Over the years, many people have died in the canyon — from rock climbers who've fallen to their deaths, to people involved in car accidents, to a few suicides. People driving through the canyon at night sometimes report that they see someone walking down the road, hitchhiking. When the driver stops to offer a ride, the hitchhiker is briefly illuminated in the headlights, but then disappears in an instant.
If you're brave enough to spend the night in the canyon, you might want to be aware that Little Mill Campground is said to be haunted by a ghost hearse.
This urban legend is almost too silly to believe, but apparently, if you stay at Little Mill Campground, you can summon a ghost hearse. As you're getting ready to leave, drive your car in a circle three times in the parking lot, and you'll hear the roar of an engine as an old hearse pulls up behind you, then proceeds to chase you down the canyon. This seems absolutely ridiculous... but we're not about to try it.
I don’t think that I believe in ghosts… but on the other hand, I think I’ll hightail it out of American Fork Canyon before dark, just in case!
Do you love to explore the spots in the Beehive State that are supposedly haunted? If so, you’ll want to take
this haunted road trip that will take you to the scariest places in Utah.